The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri 1997 set of priests, popularly known and addressed as “The Twelve Apostles” on July 19 celebrated their 24th year priestly anniversary at the Christ the King Chaplaincy Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
The class primus and chief celebrant of the day, Rev. Fr. Kizito Onyeka welcomed his brother priests and all who came to celebrate with them on the joyous occasion. Fr. Onyeka while thanking God for having led them thus far, thanked him for keeping them in health of mind and body. He prayed God to bless their individual families, friends, well-wishers and all who in one way or the other helped them in carrying out the priestly ministry, the challenges not withstanding. He also prayed for the happy repose of their classmate Very. Rev Fr. Anthony Opara.
On his part, the Chaplain, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Martin-Edward Ohajunwa welcomed the celebrants to the CKC Alvan chaplaincy and all who came for the event.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Victor Eleba said, “We have gathered to celebrate in thanksgiving to God on their 24th priestly aimiversary”, adding that grace has led them thus far other than human strength. According to Fr. Eleba, “We all have emotions to share, some sweet, some not pleasant.
Dwelling on the readings of the day, the homilist told the congregation of God’s willingness and desire to save, strengthen and help his children in any difficult situation they find themselves. He said God is always reassuring to those who seek him.
Fr. Eleba added that; “God never leaves those who call on him no matter the situation. He asked the faithful to trust and obey as the only way to be happy in Jesus.
Addressing his co-celebrants he said; “Our 24th priestly anniversary is an opportunity to ask God to strengthen our faith in him”. The homilist asked the congregation to always remember them in their prayers, bearing in mind that they are humans in dare need of God’s grace. He however prayed God to grant eternal rest to the soul of Fr. Anthony Opara and all departed priests of Owerri Archdiocese.
The Chaplaincy Council Chairman, Okenze B. C. Okoro, welcomed the celebrants of the day in the name of the chaplaincy council, and prayed God to bless and keep them unto sliver jubilee come next year.
The class of 97 set of priests include; Very Rev. Frs. Martin-Edward Ohajunwa, Victor Eleba, Kenneth Nezwuji, Gilbert Alaribe, Godian Emenyeonu, Remigius Ihim, Hyacinth Okoroafor, Eze Ukonu, Joel Nwalozie, Lawrence Iwuamadi, Martin Okoro, and Stanley Iwuala.
In attendance were the immediate past Knights of St. John International Ladies Auxiliary
Supreme Subordinate President Noble Lady Prof Viola Onwuliri and some members of the Archdiocesan special colloquium committee, and the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) president of the chaplaincy, Mrs. Chidimma Opara Nestor.